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Monday, October 8, 2007

Pining for pine: a 64 bit question

The Problem

My remote mail program of choice (or more precisely: habit) is pine, mainly because I've been using it since 1994 or so and it works for me (at least for occasional use on the server). However, Ubuntu doesn't include Pine in any of the normal repositories (for licensing reasons, it appears). There is a .deb package available (, but only for 32-bit systems, and the server in question is 64 bit. I tried, but it didn't work. Obvious solution: install from source. Unexpected problem: pine has its own build system - there's a build script instead of the usual ./configure && make && make test && make install, which fails with a somewhat cryptic

| Problems building c-client |
| |
| Please check the output above for a |
| possible explanation for this failure |

Of course, the output above (not shown here) is lacking a possible explanation.

The Solution

Unfortunately I've forgotten the precise steps by which I arrived at the solution. As far as I can recall, some googling revealed a solution for another problem which involved the file imap/src/osdep/unix/Makefile. This is a makefile containing instructions for various build targets (and reflecting pine's long development history, there are a lot in there). The build targets are all three-letter abbreviations, and the one for Linux - lnx is not the one you probably want, as it's for "traditional Linux *without* shadow passwords". The relevant section is under slx (the "s" stands for "secure", as in *with* shadow passwords), and there is a parameter ACTIVEFILE=/var/lib/news/active. Hmm, an assumed directory path...

root@static:/usr/local/src/pine4.64# ls -l /var/lib/news/active
ls: /var/lib/news/active: No such file or directory

Aha. That could be a problem, and indeed: with the directory in place, pine compiles without a hitch (although there are a lot of warnings about signedness and casting). It leaves the binaries in a bin/ subdirectory for the administrator to copy to a location of his or her choice.

Posted at 5:00 PM |Comments (1)

more links for that topic?
And Bye.
Posted by: AbawsHowwhaby | 2009-11-27 17:33